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US dollar rises after US oil inventories data boost bets on Fed move
[NEW YORK] The US dollar rose against the yen on Thursday, spurred by a jump in oil prices that put upward pressure on US inflation expectations and pushed traders to increase their outlook on a rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
Oil prices surged more than 4 per cent on Thursday after US inventory data showed crude stocks dropped by the most since Jan 1999, as imports fell due to Tropical Storm Hermine last week.
The US dollar rose 0.75 per cent against the yen to 102.54. The currency pair is generally considered the most vulnerable to rising US interest rates and inflation expectations.
The US dollar had fallen as low as 101.42 yen in early trading as expectations the Bank of Japan would expand its monetary stimulus this month faded after a Bank of Japan deputy governor gave few fresh clues on the bank's thinking.
"The reason that it's turned around is the market stepped back and said, 'Hold on. If oil jumps, inflation looks a lot more scary and the Fed is more likely to hike," said said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets.
Fed fund futures prices showed tradersnow see a 57 per cent chance of at least one interest rate increase from the Fed by December, up from just under 47 per cent on Wednesday.
The euro hit a nearly two-week high against the US dollar after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged and stopped short of a formal commitment to further expand its asset-purchase program, which ECB head Mario Draghi said had not even been discussed.
Mr Draghi unveiled a modest downgrade to the ECB's euro zone growth forecasts and warned of downside risks, including uncertainty relating to Britain's decision to exit the European Union. However, he said no action was required for now.
The euro rose to a session high of US$1.1326 against the US dollar during Mr Draghi's speech, its strongest since Aug 26. It pared gains following the oil inventory data and was last up 0.2 per cent at US$1.1260.
The advance by the euro was due largely to dashed expectations of an extension of the ECB's stimulus program.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major world currencies, erased earlier losses to turn positive and was last up 0.1 per cent. During Mr Draghi's remarks, it fell to its lowest since Aug 26.